Iran deal fuels tussle for gas pipelines in Pakistan

Iranian labourers work on a section of a pipeline - adorned with Iranian (L) and Pakistan (R) flags after a pipeline project was launched in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar in 2013A landmark deal on Iran's nuclear programme has breathed new life into plans for a gas pipeline through Pakistan — and sparked a geopolitical tussle, with Russia looking to expand its influence, observers say. With sanctions on Iran likely to ease and peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government getting under way, wrangling is intensifying over the proposed pipelines, which would link Central Asia to the Middle East. Islamabad last week hailed the nuclear deal, struck after long negotiations in Vienna, as reviving a stalled project to pipe gas from Iran's southern fields to energy-starved Pakistan.

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